Dated: June 11, 2005.
Test shots painted by Mr. Roland Kupski of Germany.
The Late Roman heavy infantrymen by this time look completely different from the Imperial Roman legionaries that we are familiar with.
Helmets: On their heads they wear a simple ridge helmet made of two halves riveted together with check pieces and a back plate sewn on. Our helmet has a crest which can be trimmed off to show the common variant without the crest. This helmet was based on Persian Sassanian helmets from the East and could be mass manufactured.
Armour: We are now back to chain mail with the lorica segmentata no longer being in use. The main difference between this and the early lorica hamata is that the mail tunics no longer have separate shoulder pieces and are short sleeved.
Shield. The old rectangular scutum is out. The last design Roman soldiers will ever carry are a large oval shield. Different units are identified by the patterns on their shields.
Weapons. Pila and gladius are waaay out. Spears, spiculum (spear with a long narrow point to penetrate mail), spatha (long sword), javelins, crossblows, slings, bows, plumbatae (weighted darts carried on inside of shield) and teeth are now in.
With enemies at the door and holding, rather than expanding, "Rome"'s armies are now 2nd class border troops at the border, with mobile, elite, firefighter armies stationed behind the border ready to throw back incursions.
Mr. Kupski's notes:
You see the soldiers of the famous last stand of the battle of Adrianople 378: The Lanciarii Seniores Legio Palatina (with the red-blue shield) and the Matiarii Seniors. Legio Palatina (with the dogs on the shield). The Officer and the Draco-bearar are Members of the Emperorīs personal Guard - Emperor Valens was killed in this battle.
I have used the book of Phil Barker/Ian Heath: The Armies and Enemies of Imperial Rome and some websites concerning the notitia dignitatum. The shield of the Emperors Guard can be seen in nearly every book about Byzantium: the famous Ravenna Mosaik. The Shield patterns are painted with Corel Draw 11. I have used two different methods of application: some are self-printed decals, some are printed on labels. There is great difference between both methods. If anyone is interested, send me a mail, Iīll send you the *.cdr (Corel Draw, so you can change them) or a *.pdf file (in lower quality.)
Front and back pictures
Officer and Draco. The Draco is a combination figure, the Draco standard can be cut off, making this figure a regular infantryman as below.
All together now
Platoon of Last Stand
Many thanks to Mr. Kupski.
a) Please note that shields are molded without designs on them.
b) Medium and light infantry sets will follow this set. The Cataphract set is already available. A light and medium cavalry set will "complete" this range.
c) This range marks the end of the timeline of our journey through the Roman Empire, a journey that we started back in 1999 with the Republican Romans (from villager citizen soldiers to an Empire that was neither Roman nor the soldiers).
d) We've covered the period at three points, Republican, mid-Imperial and Late. However, the Roman Empire lasted a long time, a not insignifcant percentage of recorded history, and it was an eventful time. A toy soldier company could conceivably devote it's entire output to the Roman Empire and not cover everything.
e) We hope this range will spark some latent interest in those who are not already aficionados of this period. Surely the end deserves as much attention as the beginning.
www.hat.com - All rights reserved. Any unauthorized or commerical use of content or images are violations of applicable laws and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Any trademark usage or proprietary images on this page are only for the purposes of review or such, and is considered fair dealing and permissible under the Copyright, Design and Patents Act, 1988 (UK). Copyright 2004.